That’s a wrap!

I commence my final week of prac tomorrow which also means I commence my final week of Semester 1. It has been great learning about the large variety of aspects in this course, especially learning about what ICT’s actually transform learning.

Before enrolling in this course, I would have always assumed that incorporating ICT’s would just be putting up a PowerPoint on the screen. After reflecting on the RAT framework I now know how wrong I was and what incorporating ICT’s really means for the classroom. After being on prac I have observed a range of ways that the school uses technology, whether that be marking the roll digitally, or using iPads or an interactive whiteboard. I have come out of this course much more knowledgeable about great apps and online teaching resources that can be used, along with what actually counts as an ICT. At the beginning of the course when I took the “Is this an ICT?” quiz, I was immensely surprised by the things that actually count as an ICT (smart light bulbs??) and what doesn’t. I guess I instantly assumed that an ICT is a computer or a smart phone.

I have learned a lot from interacting with my EDC3100 peers online, whether that be sharing links with each other or collaborating over our assignments, I sincerely cannot thank them enough for the support and online interaction we have had for this course this semester.

As for the assignments, as much as they were infuriating at times they were still the most engaging and interesting assignments I have probably ever done. The creation of my learning experiences and website and this blog brought out the creative teacher side to me which was a nice break from the academic uni student side to me.

While on the topic of this blog, I probably won’t be updating it further from here but it was a great learning experience.

This is Kate signing off.

 

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PowerPoints, PowerPoints, PowerPoints!

Throughout my prac, as stated in a previous blog, I have been struggling to find ICT’s to incorporate into my lessons. As regular PowerPoints don’t really enhance learning, I have created PowerPoints that have more than just visuals. I have embedded games and other learning resources into them. This way I am using my own computer, no need for internet, and no need for an IWB. I wanted to try and incorporate cameras or other ICT’s into my lessons but it has just been so hard. I need to get these ICT lessons done but I just don’t know how!

For my third week of prac, I have incorporated/planned a range of online games into some of my maths lessons and am going to attempt to use the interactive pen my school has to turn the regular white board into an interactive one. Hopefully all of my ICT’s work as I am definitely going out of my comfort zone with them this week.

Until next time,

Kate


Reflecting on my website development

For Assignment 3, I had to create a website based on a learning experience that was previously created in Assignment 2. When I first looked at this assignment I thought to myself “Oh no.. how does one create a website?” I was a little bit skeptical to say the least. Anyway, when it came to website making time, I basically went with the approach of click aaaaaalllll the things and hope it works. I tried every button, every option and every style until I got something that was decent and close enough to what I had in mind. After networking with my peer’s in this course, it seemed as though everyone else had a similar approach. I chose to use wix.com to create my website because the majority of my peers recommended it as being easy and simple to use. Simple? Yes. But easy? I wouldn’t say it was easy as I still had to click every button to see what they did. I define easy as knowing as soon as I look at something what it does.

Anyway, I guess the point I was trying to get at is that website creating really wasn’t as scary or hard as I thought it was going to be, and I actually found it quite fun to do and a great break from essay writing.

Bye for now,

Kate

2nd week of prac

Oh boy, what a week. I am really struggling to incorporate ICT’s into my lessons and get my 5 ICT lessons done. I have done 2 so far, soundwaves and my ICT science presentation. It’s really hard when as a student you don’t have access to the school’s internet, there’s no interactive white board, only 7 iPads and no computers. I’ve thought about making other PowerPoint’s but my mentor wants ICT’s that specifically enhance student’s learning. I have thought about rotations and having one rotation using the iPad’s as well but I’m not sure what I will get them to do on them. This prac has really opened my eyes about how hard it is to incorporate ICT’s in an enhancing way not just a simple PowerPoint with the WALT and WILF for example. This week I have taught for 2/3’s of the day which is the most I have ever taught and I have been dying in lesson plans with 4 lesson plans per day! And since my mentor wants those 2 days ahead, some days it has been 8 lesson plans per day! I’m now sitting here, with 5-7 days until my 4 assignments are due, wondering how on earth I am going to get it all done this weekend, along with lesson plans for next week. This has by far been the hardest semester so far and I have never looked forward to a semester break so much!

Bye for now,

Kate

First week of prac

Well I have just finished my first week of prac. To say that I am exhausted is an understatement. On Monday I had the opportunity to observe maths, guided reading groups, writing, a spelling pre-test and soundwaves. By observing these on Monday I was able to have a bit of a gist of what they do during these lessons before I taught them myself. On Tuesday I taught maths and writing. I taught them how to write a persuasive text and how to plan it. I have never taught writing before but it wasn’t overly hard. Maths went overtime, I guess I was so nervous in trying to get everything covered they didn’t have a chance to go and apply this knowledge in their books. Lesson learned; keep an eye on the time. On Wednesday I taught and utilised soundwaves for the first time; ran guided reading groups and taught handwriting. Soundwaves was fun, I like the program and it is very much used throughout the school I am at. They even sing the soundwaves song at each assembly. Guided reading groups were not good. I have run individual groups before but not sorted out the whole class and where they were going. The lesson I observed on Monday had teacher aides at each group doing their own thing so I was under the impression that I just had to run my own group. Turns out there were no teacher aides during Wednesday reading groups and I had no idea where each group went or what they were doing from the timetable. Deep breath, lesson learned.  Thursday, maths and reading groups again. For maths I had to introduce chunking and partitioning written strategies. I had to teach my self how to do this first before teaching it. It went well but I need to work on my differentiation. Guided reading groups were better, thankfully. Friday, again I taught maths and had a go at doing the spelling post-test. I also made and ICT science presentation which showed the students how to present in front of a class and what to include in their PowerPoint presentations. I am very exhausted and hoping week 2 of prac is a bit better than this week. I am drowning in assignments and still very stressed. As my mentor requires me to do my lesson plans 2 days ahead of time, I have had to do 6 lesson plans in one night a couple of times whilst trying to juggle those 4 assignments. I hope I get them done.

Bye for now,

Kate

Well that’s one thing off of my mind…

I’ve been placed! Woohoo! I was placed on Tuesday and was so glad when I found out as it was an almighty 5 days in advance! Last prac I didn’t find out until the night before. As you can imagine I contacted my mentor straight away and organised to meet her in 2 days time. Well today was that day and I met her and the students. She seems nice so far and very organised. She already had the timetable planned with every lesson I was going to teach. This meant that as soon as I got home I could start planning. Extra bonus points that my school is reasonably nearby (20 minutes) and that I am doing an older grade (year 2) as previously I have done year 1, prep and kindergarten. I guess you can tell that I am specializing in Early Childhood. I had a heap of questions lined up for her but she literally answered them all without me even needing to ask! She already knew about the ICT requirements and teaching load I am supposed to do so there was nothing I really needed to tell her. She already had the ICT statement and mentor feedback forms printed so I didn’t even need to give her those. It’s great having an organised mentor! She put all of the files I may need onto my USB also for me to look through. This included the class roll, any WALT/WILF powerpoints, soundwaves logins, homework sheets and more which will really help with my planning. The students seem lovely too however I am a bit worried after finding out that there are 8 students with ASD, 3 at prep level, 4 at year 1 level and 3 with behaviour problems! I feel this prac may be a bit of a challenge but I know I will learn a lot!

Until next time,

Kate

Stressed!!!

Stressed [Image]. (2017). Retrieved from GirlsHealth.gov 

I’m guessing from the title, you may already know what this post will be about. In less than 2 weeks time I am due to start my practicum for this course. Due to this, I have been desperately trying to get 5 different assignments done before I commence. Whether this will actually happen or not I have no clue, but I’m going to try! Luckily for this subject at least I have done the majority of my website and am heading down the road towards submission. My other subjects on the other hand.. well they have been a little bit neglected. I still have no idea where I am going to be placed for prac and as you can probably guess that is another reason why I’m stressed. I like to be organised for my pracs and make every effort to impress my mentor. Unfortunately if I don’t find out where I am placed early enough I won’t have a chance to meet my class or mentor and organise everything before hand which is what happened on my last prac. Last prac it all turned out fine but it just set back my lesson planning and being able to provide all the required documents to my mentor. We will see how everything goes, and trust me you will be hearing from me about whether or not I get placed and my assignments done on time!

 

Bye for now,

A very stressed Kate.

New chapters make new technology experiences…

Whether or not you want to hear about my life recently, that’s up to you. But something that happened this week made me realise how much ICT is actually used in organising events.

My Oma (dutch for grandma) passed away and thus called for funeral organisation. As the granddaughter and therefore the most “knowledgeable” on technology, I was in charge or making the funeral booklets, typing the eulogy, creating a powerpoint presentation and transferring a song from a DVD onto a USB stick. Doing all of this pushed back my assignments a little bit, but I wanted to make sure everything was perfect for the funeral.

Making all of these things lead to knew knowledge and experiences with technology. The funeral booklets took a fair bit of time because I was not so familiar with Microsoft Publisher. I had to teach myself how to make a booklet out of an A4 page, back to back. It was a bit hit and miss and lets just say there were a few trial runs with the printer. The other thing was the PowerPoint. Obviously I have created many PowerPoint’s in my time but never before have I had to transfer it into an mp4 format. So once again I was spending time teaching myself how to “publish” and PowerPoint presentation to turn it into a PowerPoint show, then having it in Windows movie maker, then adding music to go along with the video, and then finally saving the video and changing the format so that it works at the funeral. The relief I had when I went into the chapel and saw my video up on the screen all up and working was hilarious. I couldn’t sleep the night before purely because I was worried about ICT’s going wrong. The other thing I really found challenging was that my mum decided she wanted to play a special song that Oma liked at the end of the service. The only problem was that the funeral place could only take files on USB. It was even harder that it was a DVD and not a CD and that my mum only wanted to play the audio. So I had to change the DVD clip from a mp4 file to a mp3 file which took way too much trial and error that was needed, then putting it onto a USB. *sigh*

Anyway, what my point is, is that after all this, it made me realise how much I actually don’t know about technology. The whole reason why I volunteered to do all of that stuff was because I thought I knew a fair amount about ICT’s. It also made me realise that this sort of thing is what my everyday teaching life will be, instead of an “event” it will be a lesson I am preparing for and once again I will have sleepless nights worrying about what will and will not work in the classroom.

Until next time,

Kate

I smell a RAT…

A smelly stinky rat. No, not the animal.

This week we got introduced to the ‘RAT’ framework (Hughes et., al, 2006). What is that you ask? It stands for Replace Amplify Transform. This framework is used to evaluate what level in which you are using ICT’s in your teaching. Basically the aim is to not replace your learning with using ICT’s for the sake of it, but to enhance (or amplify) your lessons with the use of ICT’s. So for example: If I was teaching English, I wouldn’t simply replace the way the children learn how to write with an app, as that would not amplify the lesson at all. The students would never get a chance to physically learn how to write this way. But if the students were to use an app that shows them how to write a word of their choice while they write pencil to paper, that would enhance the lesson as the ICT component is helping them achieve another skill. And now for the transform. The transforming component is used to change the lesson entirely with ICT’s. This would be used when the students are learning skills and processes, not just content. It would change the way in which the teacher conducts their instruction and learning (Farwell, 2017).

I look forward to learning more about the RAT framework and seeing how I can use it in my teaching. It would be interesting to see what I automatically fall towards. I feel like I would probably fall towards amplifying originally, as it may be easier (and less daunting) than transforming but we will have to see. I will get back to you on that!

Until next time,

Kate

References

Farwell, V. (2017). Introducing the RAT model. Retrieved March 17, 2017, from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/m2/mod/book/view.php?id=706535

Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616-1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/22293/

ICT & Me

Whilst completing my concept map I found it quite interesting that all of the aspects that I understood of ICT all linked together. As I develop my ICT knowledge, more things will be added. New-Mind-Map